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Car hits preschoolers in western Japan, 2 girls sent to hospital

The scene where a passenger car struck a group of preschool children is seen in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, on June 13, 2019. (Mainichi)

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo -- Two little girls have been sent to hospital after a passenger car hit a group of preschoolers in this western Japan city at about 9:55 a.m. on June 13.

One of the two girls, aged 6, suffered a broken right shoulder in the accident. The other, a 5-year-old, sustained scrapes to her knees. The 69-year-old driver Rieko Ueda, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of negligent driving causing injury.

According to Hyogo Prefectural Police and the Nishinomiya Municipal Government, the group of 17 children and two staff from Nozomiyume nursery school were on their way to a park at the time of the accident. The vehicle was apparently making a right turn into a clinic parking lot when it struck the preschoolers.

A 47-year-old man at a nearby clothing shop told the Mainichi Shimbun, "I heard this huge 'bang," and then the sound of children crying. I saw someone that looked like a teacher yelling the kids' names. There was also a woman who looked like she was in her 60s who just looked stunned."

(Japanese original by Yuka Obuno and Satoshi Kondo, Hanshin Bureau, and Sachiko Miyakawa, Osaka City News Department)

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